High Gas Prices Continue to Affect COC Students

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By Elizabeth Sears – Cougar News Contributor

Gas prices have increased dramatically with an average of $4.16 per gallon for regular unleaded gas in the Santa Clarita Valley.

As crude oil prices decrease, gas prices increase. The situations in Libya and Egypt have been affecting the prices of crude oil, which affects gas prices.

When gas prices were high in 2008, current College of the Canyons students were between the ages of 15 and 17. These students were just learning how to drive and may not have had the pressure of paying for their own gas. In 2011, most of the drivers at COC are affected by these gas prices.

“Gas is very expensive. All the money that I earn from work goes directly into paying for my gas. I do not have extra pocket money anymore,” said first-year student Leah Smith.

Gas prices are especially affecting the people that have to commute to COC.

“I commute from Frazier Park, the further I drive, the more money I spend on gas,” said second-year student Barbara Blaisedell.

Students have also had to make some changes in their everyday life. Some students have had to pick up extra shifts at work or get another job in order to pay for gas.

“Gas prices are really affecting me because I have to buy premium gas and it is almost $5 a gallon.

“I have to plan out how many miles I drive in between the time I get paid because it costs $70 to fill up my tank,” said second-year student Sheelah Cassidy.

“The gas prices are ridiculous, I now have to work two jobs in order to pay for my gas,” said first-year student Samantha Reagan.

If the gas prices do not go down in the next few months, more students might need to get another job in order just to afford gas.

The students whose parents pay for their gas are still trying to conserve gas. To conserve gas, students stay at school and not go home during their breaks between classes.

First-year student Stacey McCain said, “My parents pay for my gas so gas prices do not affect me, but I try to help out by not driving too many places and limit how much gas I use.”

Second-year student Sean Waki stated that he has to rely on his parents to help pay for his gas because he does not earn enough money at his job.

Gas prices are another added stress on college students and students hope that gas prices go down soon.